The most popular sport is football (soccer), which many people watch on television. In urban areas, every neighbourhood has its own soccer team. Iraq's national team plays internationally and draws large crowds for games at the Baghdad stadium. Ahmad Al Radhi and Hussein Saeed are currently two of Iraq's most famous players. While sports in Iraq are mostly played by men and boys, Iraq has recently launched a national women's football team. Girls also enjoy volleyball and tennis. Other popular sports for men are basketball, boxing, swimming, horseback riding and weightlifting. Assud Shaker is a well-known weightlifter. Hunting for game such as rabbits and birds is popular in the countryside. Sports facilities are limited, but Iraq hopes to develop teams for the Olympics and other international competitions.

A major aspect of Iraqi social life is spending time with family and friends, often dropping by to visit without an invitation. They expect their friends to do the same. Urban Iraqis attend movies, plays and musical shows, watch television and listen to the radio. People especially enjoy listening to classical and popular Iraqi music on the radio or in concert. Iraqi girls like sewing, aerobics and playing with dolls, while boys play with marbles and kites.

Another popular pastime for many Iraqis is reading; Iraqi homes often have a small library, which may include works by prominent Iraqi and Arabic writers, as well as Western European and American books that have been translated into Arabic.

  Did you know?
Eman Al-Rufei is an Iraqi chess grandmaster; she recently competed for Iraq in the World Chess Olympiad.